GOP candidate Coleman to start airing ads

Republican Senate candidate Curtis Coleman on Wednesday unveiled a television spot he’ll start airing this week complaining about “out-of-control” government spending, becoming the first among nine GOP hopefuls to launch television ads.

Coleman announced that the 30-second spot will begin airing on statewide cable starting Friday. Titled “Spending,” the ad features Coleman complaining about federal spending but offering no specific proposals on ways to control it.

“Out-of-control spending in Washington is turning our dreams into our children’s nightmares,” Coleman says in the ad. “We’re mortgaging our children’s future to our ideological enemies.”

Coleman told reporters that he was referring to China, which holds most of the national debt, when he talked about “ideological enemies” in the spot.

“They’re controlled by a Communist state, a Communist regime, and I would be shocked to think that kind of ideology is not an enemy of the American ideal,” Coleman said.

Coleman, the campaign manager for Mike Huckabee’s failed 1992 Senate bid, finished a close second to state Sen. Gilbert Baker in a straw poll among Republicans late last year.

Nine Republicans seek the party’s nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln this year.

Coleman is the chief executive officer of a food safety company in North Little Rock and is friends with Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful.

Huckabee has not formally endorsed Coleman, though he held a fundraiser for Coleman at his North Little Rock home.

Coleman has struggled in fundraising compared to Baker, who last year reported raising more than $500,000 for his bid.

Coleman in October reported raising $54,085 for his Senate bid during the third quarter and spent $27,270 in that period. Coleman said his campaign had $36,404 in debts and $31,437 in cash on hand. He reported loaning or guaranteeing to loan his campaign $500.

Coleman said he’s loaned his campaign more money since then.

Lincoln has more than $4.1 million for her re-election bid. She hasn’t begun airing television ads for her re-election bid.

Coleman told reporters his fundraising during the last part of 2009 was “not nearly as good as we wanted it to be,” but said fundraising had picked this month He didn’t provide any specific figures on his most recent fundraising.

Other Republicans in the Senate primary race include University of Arkansas employee Randy Alexander of Springdale, businessman Tom Cox of North Little Rock, state Sen. Kim Hendren of Conway, former state Sen. Jim Holt of Springdale, businessman Fred Ramey of Searcy, retired Army Col. Conrad Reynolds of Conway and financial adviser Buddy Rogers of Rogers.

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